Facebook Could Expand into E-Money Mobile-Payments System

Facebook is preparing to provide remittances and electronic money in an effort to extend non-ad revenue. The company applied for an e-money license in Ireland that would allow users to store and exchange money through its social network. Facebook would generate revenue by charging commission for each transaction. At least three London startups — TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo — have discussed potential partnerships with Facebook regarding financial services. Continue reading Facebook Could Expand into E-Money Mobile-Payments System

Internet Ad Revenues Surpass Broadcast TV for First Time

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion in the U.S. The report indicates that the figure represents a 17 percent jump from the previous year’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion. Notably, the 2013 total also marks the first time that Internet ad revenues exceeded those of broadcast television advertising ($40.1 billion). In addition, mobile experienced triple-digit growth for the third year in a row. Continue reading Internet Ad Revenues Surpass Broadcast TV for First Time

Banjo Raises $16 Million, Aims to Become TiVo for Social Media

Banjo Inc. has raised $16 million in Series B funding in its pursuit to become like a DVR for compelling social media content and conversations. Banjo offers a way to view aggregated, relevant social conversations about news and events attached to specific geographic locations or venues, all in one convenient stream. The startup recently released Android and iOS versions of its mobile app with a new Banjo Rewind feature that lets users access a past event to learn what people were discussing about it. Continue reading Banjo Raises $16 Million, Aims to Become TiVo for Social Media

Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Comcast Corp. has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal worth about $45.2 billion, in a move that will combine the top two U.S. cable operators. The boards of both companies have approved the proposed deal. The announcement likely marks the conclusion of an eight-month takeover battle waged by cable operator Charter Communications and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media. However, the proposed transaction is expected to face lengthy regulatory review. Continue reading Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

California Looks to Boost Tax Breaks for Film & TV Production

In response to the mounting competition California currently faces from nearly 40 states that offer financial incentives for TV and film production, Democratic State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra plans to introduce new legislation this month designed to keep production in California. The proposed legislation would increase the state’s $100 million annual budget for TV and film tax incentives. Additionally, it would expand productions eligible for tax credits to include big budget films and network series. Continue reading California Looks to Boost Tax Breaks for Film & TV Production

Big Brands Respond to Value of Facebook Advertising Tools

Facebook reached record profits as evidenced in its fourth-quarter financial report, thanks in part to its investment in resources to prove its worth to advertisers. Currently, the company’s market value is at almost $150 billion, and advertisers are responding by spending even more in advertising on the social media site. New tools for marketers allow them to target users based on their in-store spending habits, increasing the value of ads on the site. Continue reading Big Brands Respond to Value of Facebook Advertising Tools

Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Following a 3 percent drop in market value, Verizon has hinted at plans to get competitive in pricing, which customers will likely appreciate, but investors might not. The telco lost about $4 billion of its value, and some say it’s directly related to the competition among telcos to be the most aggressively priced. T-Mobile has been most notably aggressive in its pricing strategies, attracting new customers and possibly forcing Verizon to lower its fees as well. Continue reading Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Twitter Numbers Skyrocket on New York Stock Exchange Debut

It seems that Wall Street loves Twitter. The company set an initial public offering price of $26 late Wednesday, only to see the stock close its first trading day up 73 percent at $44.90 a share, with a session high of over $50. The rocketing IPO set co-founder Evan Williams’ stock value at $2.9 billion and co-founder Jack Dorsey’s at $1.2 billion. CEO Dick Costolo’s stock is now worth $384 million. At about $45 per share, the company is valued at $24.4 billion. Continue reading Twitter Numbers Skyrocket on New York Stock Exchange Debut

Login and Pay with Amazon: Potential Competition for PayPal?

Amazon launched a new service this week that helps streamline transactions between online merchants and customers. “Login and Pay with Amazon” allows online businesses to implement a login/pay system using existing Amazon accounts so that customers can easily go from browsing to buying using their Amazon account information. Not to be outdone, PayPal announced an upgrade to its mobile app called Payment Code that interacts with existing barcode scanners and PIN pads. Continue reading Login and Pay with Amazon: Potential Competition for PayPal?

15 Percent of American Adults Not Using the Internet or Email

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, based on interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, indicates that 15 percent of American adults ages 18 and older say they are not using the Internet or email. Survey participants cite issues related to relevance, problems with ease-of-use, security, expense and availability as primary reasons. Additionally, another 9 percent of U.S. adults note that they use the Internet, but not while they are at home. Continue reading 15 Percent of American Adults Not Using the Internet or Email

Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

More banking is done digitally today and new financial services are emerging from a variety of companies. Banks themselves are using third-party services for their customers. Banks may have a diminishing role in consumers’ financial lives, giving rise to companies that provide banking and other management services. Critics say banks are slow to innovate, while others suggest they are taking a careful, combined approach with physical and digital services. Continue reading Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

Facebook Testing Mobile Payment Service, Rival To PayPal

Facebook is conducting tests with selected partners regarding a new payment product for online purchases on mobile apps. The service would allow any Facebook user that has provided their credit card to make purchases on partnering e-commerce mobile apps without having to enter billing information. The payment system could provide valuable data for itself and advertisers on shopper behavior and preferences in and out of Facebook. Continue reading Facebook Testing Mobile Payment Service, Rival To PayPal

PayPal Galactic Exploring Payment Systems in Outer Space

PayPal recently announced a new initiative to explore interplanetary and space financial payment services. In a joint partnership with the scientific community, including the SETI Institute and the Space Tourism Society, PayPal is preparing to serve and support space commerce of the future. PayPal plans to work with the space industry to address the commercialization of space. Issues to be addressed will involve currency standards, how banking will operate, and how to deal with new regulations. Continue reading PayPal Galactic Exploring Payment Systems in Outer Space

Tribune to Acquire 19 Local TV Stations in $2.7 Billion Deal

The Tribune Company has agreed to pay about $2.73 billion to acquire all 19 television stations from Local TV Holdings, which is owned by investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Tribune, which already owns 23 local TV outlets and is looking to possibly sell some or all of its newspapers, will become one of the country’s largest station groups through the deal (and the biggest holder of Fox affiliates). The 19 stations cover areas from Scranton to Salt Lake City. Continue reading Tribune to Acquire 19 Local TV Stations in $2.7 Billion Deal

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